Romancing the Geek

A time or two I’ve whined on twitter and Facebook about how much my computer guy hates me. But, since I work on a website I can’t in any way operate other than to “PUBLISH POST”, I am completely dependent on him for this blog’s well being.

(Important disclaimer: Although he hosts this site on his server, he doesn’t actually read it, so we don’t have to worry about him seeing this and we can totally talk freely behind his back.)

Let’s call him Chris. (Because his name is Chris.)

He lives in a historic brick manor house down a long tree-lined lane on a big farm. I went there this weekend because I am having a problem with spam getting into my blog header, but only on Blackberries (random). When I visit him, he requires a roast beef sandwich on rye with ‘real mayo’ and lettuce. And chips.

He charges me a next to nothing monthly fee to host the site and fix it whenever I send red-exclamation marked, shrieky emails when something goes wrong with a subject line screaming: “HHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP”

So I can’t complain about him. No matter how oft he expresses his hatred for blogs, twitter, facebook, and ‘any of that other crap you people do because you think someone gives a shit what you had for breakfast.’ And how much he thinks Microsoft sucks ass. And how he doesn’t understand how I write on a piece of shit Dell when I should have an Apple*. And how idiotic liberal left wing Democrats (like me) are because conservative Republicans (like him) are clearly mentally superior.

While it would be easy to find a ‘nicer’ web guy, I think it is sort of comforting to know someone grumpier and with less social skills than myself.

Also, on his farm he raises sheep and then sells them to slaughter.

Which needless to say causes me to say either “You still wake up sometimes, don’t you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.” or “Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?” every single time I go there, which is like four times a year or so- seasonal blog freakouts, I guess.

And this weekend he told me it was his sister’s farm that was shown in Silence of the Lambs and they have a picture of her with Jodie Foster from when the flashback scene was filmed. Cool! (I mean w00t!)

Our current goal was to battle the spammers, which I sort of hysterically started calling ‘the aliens’ who ‘had a portal’ into my site. Here’s how our conversation went (after a brief period of him trying to explain the differences between html, php, Javascript and css, and me snoring):


Him: “How is it you ended up with only Viagra and Cialis spam? Are you writing about erectile dysfunction?”

Me: “Not unless someone’s paying me to. Um- it might be some of the Hump Day posts I am doing?”

Him: (mutters something unrecognizable that sounds like it may or may not include the word ‘whore.’)

His house is a goddamned mess. His wife recently divorced him and their children are grown, so he lives there alone, which is super sad. Since I am sitting around doing nothing while he is valiantly battling the spambots, I ask him for a broom. He says ‘a what?’ And I say “My point exactly. It’s a long-handled wooden thing with straw stuff on one end, used in a sweeping motion to clear debris from one’s floor.”

He tells me I don’t have to sweep his floor, and I tell him I am well aware of this but that I am bored, because I’ve already done my job in fucking up the blog so now I need something to do while he waves his magical geek wand over it to fix it. A broom appears. I sweep.

And you know what? For a tiny second, when he has rolled up his (OXFORD) sleeves and taken off his glasses and paced around his computer for awhile and then has like this little EUREKA, slay-the-spammers moment? Chris was a tiny, tiny, tiny bit cute.

GEEK CRUSH ALERT! (insert victorious Star Wars theme song)

We spend more than an hour trying to figure out what in the goddamned hell inside the WordPress brain of my blog is telling the comments section to leave European dates so that when people comment, for example today, it will say 10-06-10 instead of 6-10-10 like America says (no offense in any way intended for my Australian and British readers- and trust me when I say that you people are far more capable than we lazy Americans at figuring out what day it is without computer assistance.) We (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘HE’) can’t find it.

Then for some reason he ends up on my “About” page and he says,

“Holy hell, that is a horrible picture of you. It doesn’t look anything like you.”

I clear my throat (he can kill my blog, people.) and politely point out that it IS, in fact ME, so how can it not look like me? He goes on to note the multitude of ways it’s a bad picture of me. I tell him I like it and that if he is correct in his opinion that no one reads blogs because they are an egomaniacal waste of time, no one will see the picture anyway.

We move on and he works on a few other things, and as I sweep, I start thinking that this guy totally can’t stand me and he is a George Bush-loving sheep killer, and I am currently alone on his 200 acre farm with him and he could totally murder me, delete my blog from cybertopia, and sell parts of my body to the butcher so anyone on the world could be eating a marymac burger on any given day**.

(ahem, I would like to remind you that a vivid imagination is why I write this fucker in the first place)

But you know what?  I don’t think he will kill me. I may not be paying him enough for a cleaning lady, but I bring roast beef and sweep and who doesn’t like a screaming-frenzied red exclamation mark email once in awhile?

You know, so that it’s not just the lambs screaming.


* Um? Can’t Afford. Duh.

** I recommend extra pickles.



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